Multi-scale data storage schemes for spatial information systems
This thesis documents a research project that has led to the design and prototype implementation of several data storage schemes suited to the efficient multi-scale representation of integrated spatial data. Spatial information systems will benefit from having data models which allow for data to be viewed and analysed at various levels of detail, while the integration of data from different sources will lead to a more accurate representation of reality. The work has addressed two specific problems. The first concerns the design of an integrated multi-scale data model suited for use within Geographical Information Systems. This has led to the development of two data models, each of which allow for the integration of terrain data and topographic data at multiple levels of detail. The models are based on a combination of adapted versions of three previous data structures, namely, the constrained Delaunay pyramid, the line generalisation tree and the fixed grid. The second specific problem addressed in this thesis has been the development of an integrated multi-scale 3-D geological data model, for use within a Geoscientific Information System. This has resulted in a data storage scheme which enables the integration of terrain data, geological outcrop data and borehole data at various levels of detail. The thesis also presents details of prototype database implementations of each of the new data storage schemes. These implementations have served to demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of an integrated multi-scale approach. The research has also brought to light some areas that will need further research before fully functional systems are produced. The final chapter contains, in addition to conclusions made as a result of the research to date, a summary of some of these areas that require future work.